Trump, Carson affirm fallacy linking childhood vaccinations and autism

Downey Regional Medical Center RN Connie Meinke holds a syringe filled with the flu vaccine before injecting a fellow employee on January 17, 2013. Like many hospitals across the U.S., the Downey, California, facility is preparing for the flu onslaught. The hospital is asking all of their employees to be vaccinated. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Downey Regional Medical Center RN Connie Meinke holds a syringe filled with the flu vaccine before injecting a fellow employee on January 17, 2013. Like many hospitals across the U.S., the Downey, California, facility is preparing for the flu onslaught. The hospital is asking all of their employees to be vaccinated. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
MCT

The most essential thing a voter can be is informed. Knowing specifically what issues each candidate is presenting affects whom to vote for. In certain controversial topics, many ideas that are debated are flexible – issues concerning religious beliefs and social practices based on personal opinions.

However in other topics, like vaccination policies, the scientific facts are based off of egregious amounts of study and research, and then even further study and research. In the case of vaccination, and its irrefutable assistance to the health of humanity as a whole, these facts seem to have been abused, twisted and shaped into something many people now believe is up for debate.

In the CNN Republican Primary Debate Sept. 16, vaccination policies in the United States were brought up to Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, and Donald Trump, a businessman.

The reason many people over the past decade have begun to believe vaccination causes autism is the article published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield in the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet. The article alleged that the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine was the cause of intestinal inflammation that caused proteins from the intestines to migrate through the body, damage the brain and ultimately lead to autism.

This is, and continues to be, the only scientific study ever published to allege a relationship between autism and vaccines. When suspicion rose around some problems with the study, it was revealed that Wakefield was funded by begrudged lawyers, used children already showing signs of psychosocial issues and had no physical irritation from vaccines to publish a falsified and unethical study.

Even after the findings of this study were disproven numerous times, this one study caused an anti-vaccination movement in the U.S. that would ultimately result in parents choosing not to vaccinate their children properly. The issue with parents opting not to vaccinate their children may seem like a personal choice – albeit irresponsible – yet this decision affects their entire community.

Some people cannot be vaccinated – babies, the elderly and persons allergic to components of the vaccine. The stabilizing thing about vaccines is that if everyone makes the responsible choice of being inoculated with the vaccine, the small group of people who cannot be vaccinated is just as safe from the disease as someone who can be vaccinated.

Information courtesy of Pew Research Center. Graphic courtesy of Tribune News Service.
Information courtesy of Pew Research Center. Graphic courtesy of Tribune News Service.

If everyone is vaccinated, measles or mumps or polio cannot be spread to the small population of citizens who aren’t vaccinated. This is called ‘herd immunity.’ But the less people are vaccinated, the more likely the population of babies, elderly, and other people who are not vaccinated are to catch the diseases that have been virtually eradicated from vaccine use.

The abundance of facts compiled regarding the abuse of information regarding vaccines is clear. In the debate itself, Carson confirmed that there is no correlation between vaccinations and autism. However, Trump and Carson both alluded to spreading out the dosage schedule of vaccination, believing that if it was spread out, it would be safer for children everywhere.

“I am totally in favor of vaccines, but I want smaller doses over a longer period of time.”  Trump said, implying that the current way in which vaccines are administered is dangerous. “A child… went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”

The issue with changing vaccination scheduling, as outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Family Physicians, is exactly that, an issue. These vaccinations are given to infants and children at the best time for their immune system to work best with it and if they are spread out, the children and infants are left unprotected. There is no reason to believe that spreading the vaccination schedule out would be safer, and no guarantee that the children would be equally as protected from disease.

As a scientist and doctor, Carson failed. As a politician, Carson failed. He failed to inform his possible constituents properly as a doctor and politician, and he failed to clarify that Trump’s musings were false. As a politician, Trump failed as well, misinforming his possible constituents about a serious public health issue. And as a voter, it seems that it is no longer safe to rely on the leaders charged with informing the population – which could be more dangerous than any vaccine was ever alleged to be.

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  • J

    JSep 29, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Here is a good link to start about the CDC. Gee …I wonder why we here for weeks and months about 50 kids getting measles in the news (There hasn’t even been a death from it in the US for decades …) and yet we don’t hear anything about this and how far its gone:

    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/bombshell-cdc-destroyed-vaccine-documents-congressman-reveals/

  • J

    joejoeSep 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Nice try, now tell the rest of the people the truth about the intended cover up, and what the CDC’s own Dr.William Thompson had to say about how he was forced to cover up the vaccine autism link.

  • R

    RaySep 27, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    The question is not whether vaccinations are good or bad. (Generally, they are “good.”) The question is whether a person (adult, teen or minor) can disagree without getting incarcerated, or having their kids carted off by children’s services for alleged “neglect.”

    If we believe that all rights begin with the individual, and a person has ownership over their body, then they have the right to say “No” to an artificial procedure that does not occur naturally. It doesn’t matter the reason.

    • B

      barbara janovSep 27, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      I’d like to hear about the science behind the pronouncing all of these vaccines are necessary and safe. Before the introduction of Hepb at birth,we enjoyed a very low autism prevalence. In my state it now is one in thirty seven boys. I don’t want to hear about the witch hunts of doctors and debunking science when no solid science suggesting safety is able to be reproduced outside of the drug companies arena. The CDC hires felons, aka paol thorson, and refuse to extradict him, what are they hiding? Too odd that we can’t see the science. Burbacher clearly stated ethylmercury leaves behind organic mercury in the brain, I read the study, it was reported in the media MUCH differently than the science he provided. No..Carson knows the truth, his lie was not telling it all.

    • J

      JoselitoSep 28, 2015 at 3:54 am

      You sir, took all of the words that I’d like to express!
      I second that…